» Alternate Therapies

Massage for young and old

Aromatherapy and massage are particularly appropriate for both parents of CdLS children and the youngsters themselves... according to alternative medicine specialist Jayne Powell when she addressed an attentive audience at the Cheshire conference.

Jayne explains that essential oils can be used at home in a wide variety of ways. “They can be used for massage, as lotions or as compresses while baths, vaporisation, steam inhalation and neat application are also valuable.”

Many of the oils used are well-known including basil, bergamot, camomile, eucalyptus, fennel, geranium and tea-tree and peppermint while clary-sage, frankincense, myrrh and ylang-ylang are less common.

For massage purposes, Jayne recommends that the oils should be blended with a carrier such as sunflower seed oil before being applied directly to the skin using a variety of massage strokes. The blend is usually 6 drops of essential oil to 20ml of carrier oil.

Jayne says baths are the easiest way to use essential oils. “By adding five to 10 drops to a tablespoon of milk,” she explains, “and then adding this to the bath when the tub is full, can be a useful way to relax and unwind and also as an excellent way to relieve muscular aches and pains.”

As many of the oils are specifically used for different purposes, Jayne suggests that it’s a good idea to talk to a local aromatherapist before experimenting. However, she’s confident that many CdLS children - and their parents - would find considerable benefit in areas such as insomnia, indigestion, anxiety/depression, headache and chest infections.

Reaching Out newsletter

October 2000